Search This Blog

November 01, 2011

Pecan Rolls with Puff Pastry | Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans

When I was catering, I did a lot of brunches and breakfasts for ladies... usually holiday breakfasts, or baby and wedding showers.  I learned so much about how women eat - especially around other women.  I would be so disappointed that they would skip over the giant cinnamon rolls I had slaved over.  Sure they would oh and ah at them, but no one would be willing to fill their plate with the huge pastry.  However, when I started making these smaller Pecan Sticky Rolls, they were a hit - the ladies would even ask for seconds!  Maybe it was the more petite size, or perhaps the lack of frosting?  Maybe the caramel pecan glaze (made from a simple schmear) was too much to resist?!   

When I was in college working at a bakery, I discovered 'schmear.'  Schmear at this bakery didn't mean cream cheese on a bagel... but, a smooth mixture of butter and brown sugar that was 'schmeared' on the bottom of the muffin pan before the cinnamon rolls were put in.  After baking, we inverted the rolls onto a tray to reveal that the schmear had created a caramel glaze that cascaded over the rolls. 

That sounds easy (and delish), right?  It gets better.  Instead of slaving over homemade bread dough to make the cinnamon rolls like they did at the bakery, now I use frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.  Instead of the typical fluffy, doughy cinnamon rolls (fabulous in their own right), the Puff Pastry creates a buttery, flakey roll that is, well, soooo good.  I also love that they are smaller than the normal over-sized bakery cinnamon rolls - they are a perfect indulgence to serve at brunch or with a cup of coffee. 

You can prepare these ahead of time (great to have around for the holidays...) by following the directions below, then putting them into the freezer instead of the oven.  When you are ready to bake them, just let them sit out for 10-20 minutes before they go into the hot oven.

For More Puff Pastry Recipes for the Holidays, click here

Pecan Rolls
with Puff Pastry

2 sheets of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry* (1 package)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
12 tablespoons of butter, softened
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

*Let frozen Puff Pastry sit out to thaw for 20 minutes before using.

Fold the Puff Pastry sheets out on a lightly floured surface.  Spread 1 tablespoon of softened butter out onto each sheet.  Next, spread half of the 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar onto each sheet.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon onto each sheet.  Roll the sheets into long rolls, then cut them each in to 6 even pieces.  

Create the schmear by creaming together 12 tablespoons of butter, salt and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cup of a large muffin pan.  Put 4-5 pecans on top of the schmear mixture, pressing it down.  Put a slice of the cinnamon roll, spiral side up, in each muffin cup.

Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet - just in case they will bubble over in the oven.  Bake for 25-27 minutes, until puffed and golden.  Let them cool in the muffin pan for 2 minutes - only!  Place another sheet pan on top, and invert them, removing the muffin pan. 

Unfold the puff pastry sheet.

 Spread the butter evenly.

Follow with sugar.

Then brown sugar...

And cinnamon. 

Roll it up tightly.

Slice each sheet into 6 pieces.  You can even do 8 if you wan to stretch it. 

Put a scoop of schmear in each cup.

Then smash it down with the pecans.  I like the look of pecan halves, but you can use pieces, too.

Place the rolls on top of the pecans (I only made 6, using just one sheet).  Want to make these ahead of time?  This is the point you can wrap them up and stick them in the freezer!

 Puffed and baked.  I used an extra large jumbo muffin tray, but you can use a normal size.  Yours will be more overflowing if you use a standard muffin tray... both work great. 

Place a pan (upside down) on top of the other tray, then flip.

Remove the top tray, and the muffin tin...

Look how ooey, and goey!  These are so easy to make, they're great for any old Saturday morning, or a special brunch.

For More Puff Pastry Recipes for the Holidays, click here

*Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry is one of my Holiday Entertaining sponsors.  I approached them to join me in partnership this Holiday season because I LOVE their products and have relied on them for years to make my entertaining a success!


  1. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Is the amount of butter correct? I made these and they were so greasy they were ruined. I'm willing to try again!

  2. Anonymous4:08 PM

    P.S. I love your site and blog. I read it daily!

  3. Jenny Steffens Hobick4:14 PM

    Oh no! I based the recipe on the Barefoot Contessa's Sticky Buns. Her proportions of butter are the same that I used, but maybe use less butter and see if that works better for you? Take a look at her recipe and see if it gives you any insights :

    Let me know if you find something that works better for you!

  4. Jenny Steffens Hobick4:15 PM

    Oh, and make sure your oven is at 400 - a cooler oven can just cause the butter in the puff pastry to melt, vs. puff up.

  5. Lauren3:58 AM

    I had never used puff pastry before and this was my first attempt. Straight out of the oven....I absolutely loved them and so did my taste testers :0) Thanks so much

  6. Anonymous1:53 PM

    These were amazing...I probably will never buy store bought cinnAmon rolls again.

  7. Hello my name is Gen,
    I publish a free online magazine that features bloggers such as yourself who contribute recipes, decor, crafts etc. I'd love to feature your post and your blog in the upcoming Fall Issue. As a thank you all contributors to the magazine get a live link back to their blogs in the magazine. If this is something you'd be interested in participating in, please email me and let me know. All i need to proceed is your okay to use your photos and post and a link back to your blog so our readers can find you. You can also see a version of this magazine on my website the summer issue has been released. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.~Gen,


Copyright @ Jenny Steffens Hobick. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign